Microsoft, Generation and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation team up to seal the skills gap by creating professional digital personnel.

“Many companies require educational qualifications to apply for jobs, which is my limitation. Earlier, I wasn’t confident enough to apply for full-time job since I didn’t have a high school certificate or a bachelor’s degree. Yet, getting back to the education system or some courses would have taken me too long. JSD Training was one of the factors I got my full-time job with welfare and a secure income, which allowed me to manage my life more effectively. This program helped develop some required skills and was useful for job seeking. JSD Project is a platform that is helpful in reskilling and upskilling; let us prove that even people who are not in the education system can possess equivalent abilities and skills and be ready for digital careers.” 

Mr. Abhisit Likhitwattanapaisarn, 21, graduated from junior high school level. Trying to study in several ways, he eventually perceived that studying in the education system didn’t meet his requirement. However, coding has always been his interest since he was young. He, thus, started to learn earnestly by himself since then, until he was able to earn money as a freelancer. Yet, he was still worried about his long-term career, for he thought he still lacked corporate working experience; besides, he possesses no bachelor’s degree, which is usually the requirement in the job application. He finally had an opportunity to participate in 12-week Junior Software Developer (JSD) Bootcamp, which developed and enhanced his confidence. Abhisit then became a professional software developer and got a full-time job as a software engineer in a leading educational start-up company even before he finished the program. 

Junior Software Developer (JSD) is a free intensive working-skills training boot camp with no restrictions on the applicant’s educational qualifications and experiences. The program aims to develop the required working skills for the unemployed, the individuals who intend to alter their career field, and those who lack employment opportunities. Junior Software Developer (JSD) Bootcamp is formed due to the cooperation between Generation Thailand, the international social organization which reinvents the education that links with the requirement and employment in the labor market, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation, and Microsoft (Thailand), as well as other leading organizations, beneath the job-based skills learning project by GenNX Model.  

Another successor from this program Khun Veerakit Chotpititaveepong, after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business, Khun Veerakit searched for an entry-level job in his neighbourhood down south over a period of time. However, the job market in the his community area does not offer a growing future. Khun Kan decided to pivot to the field of technology, as blockchain sparked his interest. After another searched he discovered multiple tech boot camps that are based in Bangkok. However, being a recent graduate with no job, relocation was too costly for him. He said “Joining Generation boot camp online, allowed me to pursue his dream to become part of technologist community.” Currently, Khun Kan is a Quality Assurance of a software house company. 

Create professional software developer and uphold the objective of producing personnel. 

Microsoft (Thailand), one of the major sponsors of the JSD program, aims to empower Thailand’s future makers through three significant missions; Create people means the development of digital skills and the improvement of all-levels learning, To a future means the technology that reinforces the potential of thinking and innovating confidently and effectively, and For a better Thailand means cooperation with all sectors to utilize skills and technology in creating tangible change.  Creating people is the significant initial mission that Microsoft has constantly been executing by cooperating with the government sector, private sector, and civil society sector to develop Thai’s digital skills. The goal is to develop the skill of 10 million Thai people by 2024. Thus, supporting the JSD Program to create quality personnel for the digital industry sector is one of the crucial missions. 

Mr. Dhanawat Suthumpun, Managing Director of Microsoft (Thailand), stated that “Digital is an opportunity to innovate new things both at present and in the future. Microsoft, then, aims to employ digital technology to develop personnel skills to add value and to use as the basis for increasing employment opportunities, which will enhance Thailand’s competitive potential. Microsoft is, thus, willing to support in Junior Software Developer Program by Generation Thailand. We also widen the program’s alliance opportunity to provide the chance to individuals who intend to enter the digital technology field.”

Develop working skills based on the industry’s demand

To obtain the industry’s genuine skills requirement, JSD Program teamed up with 20 digital technology entrepreneurs to create the content. Software development appears to be the most required career in the field. Intending to produce 350 professional digital personnel by 2023, Generation Thailand has set up five cohorts of the short-term intensive program, each cohort with 50 to 60 participants from throughout the country and several occupational backgrounds. Every participant focuses on upskilling and reskilling for digital technology careers. 

Ms. Phunyanuch Pattanotai, Chief Executive Officer of Generation Thailand, said that “JSD Program participants have diversified backgrounds, including the participants who didn’t have digital technology-related degrees, those who had trouble getting jobs, the unemployed, the participants who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ones with substandard education backgrounds. Even so, the partner companies were interested in offering the program participants jobs since they lacked the personnel with the required skills and believed in the potential of the participants who strived to work in this field. Meanwhile, the companies required a program that expedites the learning and implementation processes without apprenticeship. The program participants possess abilities with technical skills, perspective ability, be open-minded, can rapidly adapt to the companies’ demands, and work effectively.” 

Ms. Supahrat Juramongkol, Director, Community Engagement, Microsoft Philanthropies APAC, stated that “Aside from being a sponsor, Microsoft is also a connector who links with technology proprietors in the industry and encourages them to provide job opportunities for the upskilled applicants. Generation Thailand, working closely with the employers, has responded to the demand and evaluated the achievement to the point of employment.” 

Apart from technical skills, JSD Program also arms the participants with behavioral skills and mindset (BSM); for instance, growth mindset and meticulosity skills, which are life skills that allow them to work sustainably for the companies. The participants are also developed and guided on how to find and apply for a job and how to work effectively by Generation Thailand’s volunteered mentors with hands-on experience in the digital field and the representatives from the alliance companies. Besides, they are also provided with opportunities to work with Generation Thailand alliances and other digital technology companies. 

Presently, JSD has proceeded with three classes and created 155 professional software developers to drive Thailand’s digital technology society.